Rank it! PENS, PENS, PENS!

By Lara Tan (22A01B) and Mei Feifei (22A13A)

The only, absolute and best friend that a student has, in this selfish world, the only one that will not betray or deny him, is their PEN

The pen is truly mightier than the sword—one gets you an A, one doesn’t. That said, some pens are mightier than others. One trip to Popular and multiple pen tests later, Raffles Press presents to you the conclusive guide to the most popular pen brands from our school’s Popular bookstore!

Rest in peace highlighter. Your sacrifice will be remembered.

We evaluated each pen based on four criterion: 

#1: Smoothness

Under exam conditions, the average pressed-for-time student has no patience for an uncooperative pen with ink stuck in the nib. The less-than-ideal conditions of some tables also make writing a very uncomfortable experience if your pen is already scratchy. 

#2: Durability 

As utility-maximising, rational consumers, we want affordable pens that last long! At the very least, a pen should live up to its price. It should, ideally, also be able to survive some damage (e.g impact from dropping). 

#3: Anti-smudge

When your handwriting is already nearly indecipherable, the last thing you need is a bunch of dark smudges to further confuse the markers. Furthermore, having ink stains on the side of your palm is not a particularly sought-after experience. 

#4: Grip comfort

We spend more time holding our pens than holding hands, so surely one would want pens that fit comfortably in one’s hand. Head pain from an unsolvable math question is enough—no need for more hand pain. 

Overall, most pens performed excellently with most pens scoring an A or B. For the pens that did not do so well, it mostly boiled down to poor performance on a single criterion. For example, the Uniball Signo—famed for its ability to die after a single drop—scored poorly on the ‘durability’ criterion. 

The presence of other factors that were not taken into consideration (such as personal preference—one writer swears by the Pilot Juice Up! 0.4 series) would definitely have compromised our findings. Nonetheless, we hope that this guide provides some help when you are spoilt for choice in Popular next time. 

Our rubrics, for your perusal (if you ever wish to review pens in your free time)

Name: G-2

Brand: Pilot

Price: $2.15

Image from Pilot website

Name: Juice Up

Brand: Pilot

Price: $2.60

Image from Pilot website

Name: Juice

Brand: Pilot

Price: $1.70

Image from Pilot website

Name: Frixion Clicker

Brand: Pilot

Price: $2.60

Image from Pilot website

Name: Sarasa Clip

Brand: Zebra

Price: $1.80

Image from JetPens

Name: Energel

Brand: Pentel

Price: $1.95

Image from JetPens

Name: Signo Needle

Brand: Uniball

Price: $2.45

Image from Uni Mitsubishi Pencil

2 thoughts on “Rank it! PENS, PENS, PENS!”

  1. I take umbrage at Sarasa Clip’s B rating; given that this pen was what got me through the six-essays-three-hours madness that was H2 Geography. Also 0.5 for life

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